Tahlequah Daily Press

January 25, 2013

Businessman accused of keeping stolen truck

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Prosecutors are charging a local businessman they claim had possession of a stolen vehicle last month but refused to return the vehicle to its owner.

Monte Robbins – described in court documents as the owner of Robbins Recycling – is charged with a felony count of possession of a stolen vehicle.

Prosecutors allege Robbins had a 1994 Ford Ranger in December. The vehicle had been stolen from Joseph Caviness by an unknown person, according to court documents, and was later taken to Robbins Recycling, which paid $320 for it.

Cherokee County sheriff’s officials said they were asked by the District Attorney’s Office to retrieve the vehicle at Robbins Recycling last December so it could be returned to Caviness.

Caviness had previously told sheriff’s deputies his truck was left at a local business overnight, and was picked up by a wrecker service at the request of an unidentified woman. The wrecker service then took the truck to a local scrap yard, where it was sold.

Investigators said they called Robbins, and he told them the truck was in his possession, but allegedly said he wasn’t going to let anyone take it from his property until he was given the $320 he had paid for the truck.

Investigators said Robbins then told them he felt like county officials were “always trying to f--- me out of money,” and that he believed those who work at the courthouse are all “crooks.”

Robbins also allegedly told investigators he was able to help get the last district attorney voted out of office, and he would be able to get the current DA voted out of office as well.

According to court documents, possession of a stolen vehicle is punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine of $500 to $5,000.

Investigators also said they have interviewed two potential suspects who may have been involved in the theft of the truck, or in selling the truck to the local business.